the blog.

AKA a great spot to find marketing advice, inspirational tidbits, and fun articles about the power of story. Enjoy!

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New Normal

The more we talk of the “new normal” the longer we stay tethered to the past.

And let’s face it; the past was not perfect, even though right now we are idolizing it. We did not have it all right then, the economy was still difficult, and we have never been able to go back in time, so why wish to go back now? Obsessing about the past is a lot of backwards energy.

But we are craving something. (Which often includes many trips to the fridge, hmm salty or sweet? 🙂

We are aching for something that will act as our rudder to steer us as we move forward and as we move our business forward.

That rudder is your purpose, both your personal purpose and your corporate purpose.

Dominic Houlder, professor of strategic and entrepreneurial management at London Business School put it bluntly and succinctly:

As business and organizations face stronger crosswinds, purpose becomes even more important, not less so. That’s because the “what” and the “how” of business is changing more frequently in a volatile world. This leaves the purpose, the “why” as the primary compass for navigating key decisions.

There is no shortcut, no magic wand, to wave us through this pandemic, but if we do the hard work and get clear on our purpose and then put our purpose to work, we will have the type of impact we imagined.

Keep going.

P.S. If you would like to get clear on your personal or corporate purpose so that you can have the impact you are looking for, set up a time to call me by clicking below.

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Now is a great time to

I had a blast as the guest speaker at the WESK Uncorked event last month.

I loved the chatty chat line.

We might not have been able to see each other but we sure knew that each other were there. I soaked up all the vibes like a sponge.

The pandemic has asked us to make mindful, generous, and difficult decisions. There has been very clear language around what we cannot do. And it has worked!  We listened.

But when we gather at Uncorked we are there to honour the art of the possible.

So it only seemed natural to flip the “can’t” talk on its head and think about what we “can” do.

I asked listeners to finish this sentence: Now is a great time to …………….

Below are the answers that came flying in faster than we could read them and I can’t resist sharing the main threads of the responses with you:

  • Business growth
  • Stretching what I can do and be in this world
  • Follow the opportunities
  • Own a business
  • Re-launch
  • Re-focus
  • Be bold
  • Tell your story
  • Pivot
  • Re-commit to what matters
  • Believe in myself
  • Be the leader you want to become
  • Mentor
  • Find my purpose
  • Re-invent myself
  • Lean in
  • Become who you really are
  • Personal growth and self-care
  • Be grounded in your why
  • Brand building
  • Hold on to calm
  • Get grounded
  • Get loud
  • Love myself

Can we keep this conversation going?

What resonates for you?

How will you finish the sentence? Now is a great time to…….

Things Have Shifted

Could you feel the shift?

I felt it this weekend.

I am not sure if it was that the buds on the trees seemed to burst in front of my eyes, that the grass was tinged with green, or our puppy Stella’s insane spring fever, but I felt it!

It echoed what I have been experiencing at The Story Co., too.

Since the pandemic clients have been gradually shifting from crisis mode to vision mode. Now, we are asking, “where to from here?” The questions are more hopeful and also more helpful. There is an openness to new ways of thinking.

This time last year our whole family was wrapped up in the Raptors’ triumphant run for the playoffs. (I’m seriously missing the Raptors but I promise no pivot analogies!)

Remember that game winning shot by Kawhi? There was a collective gasp at our house and all across the nation. With each exciting game I became really impatient, craving to know how the story would end.

I feel the same way now!

With the Raptors story I only saw it ending one way.

There was so much to cheer for; the nation, the underdog, the star, the hustle, the fans.

And at that pivotal moment was the shift.

We went from a nation shaking our heads at the luck of having a chance to win it all, to a nation believing we were champions.

Maybe it feels like all you have been doing is shifting and changing gears lately.

But all this shifting is making us into believers.

Retailers began this pandemic by shaking their heads wondering how they could possibly get an online store up and running so quickly, to seeing it now as a permanent income stream.

The gyms and yoga studios that now know that online classes will be here forever. Universities and educational institutions, not designed for being nimble, shifted gears completely getting online classes up and exams written. Masks were produced in basements; factories were re-tooled.

In the process raving fans have been created. The kind that never forget how when the chips were down you were there and willing to help with what you do best. That is what we live for. That is the soul of a purpose brand.

The “what” and “how” we do business has changed radically.

The raw innovation is profound.

The shift is real.

Keep going.

Simplify

Simplify. I think that might be one of the words that I remember the pandemic by (that and chocolate). Or at least today that is how I am feeling. It can be a moment-by-moment adventure!

I have this persistent visual that life right now is going through a sieve and only what is essential remains.

Last year I read the book “Essentialism: The disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown and I loved it and it stuck with me. The tagline for the book could not be more apt for the times.

The crux of his work is not about doing more with less, it is actually about asking yourself if what you are spending your time and resources on is the “right” thing. We can remove a lot of overwhelm if we stop trying to do it all, stop saying yes every time and instead concentrate on doing the right things. Taking a “less but better” approach.

And to get to what is essential we rely on our purpose.

Our purpose becomes the sieve through which all of our options can sift. What is our genius work? What does matter to us?  How can we do what matters to us and to others?.

It is a mindful way to live life and to do business.

Over this last month I have in many different voices asked myself “what does matter?” And on the more insightful days, usually when I am out walking Stella I might be able to come up with an answer. I then have to push myself further and say, “okay, now that I know what does matter,  do that.” (Maybe it’s Stella who inspires me she always knows what matters – sticks!)

One of my favourite quotes from the book:

“Whatever decision or challenge or crossroads you face in your life, simply ask yourself, ‘What is essential?’ Eliminate everything else.”

As we move forward businesses will be tried, and it will not be an easy road. We will have to zone in on our “essential” by knowing what matters most to us, and to others, and to have the courage to “do that”.

This pandemic has required us to eliminate much, to purge more than just our closets.

Perhaps it has also helped us to embrace the simplicity of the essential. That we can manage and thrive focused on the right things, one piece at a time.

If you are looking to get clear on your purpose to grow your business and enrich your life let’s chat.

WESK Uncorked

WESK has always been an important organization to me personally. They were there when I started my first business and the vital importance of their good work right now in unqualifiable.

Every third Tuesday of the month an incredible thing happens. Uncorked is held.

Each month there is a different speaker and we gather, to learn from each other, to swap stories, to sip and nosh.

But it so much more than just that.

For an hour we breathe in the art of the possible. We are inspired and challenged, and we leave more confident (and more loved) than when we arrived.

It is the warmest crowd anywhere.

This month I get to be the guest speaker and of course the physical event had to be cancelled but I suggested we try it virtually.

I will be inviting you personally into my home office (which is really one of my favourite places to be), and Lisa Peters and I will chat with you. It might get a little cozy all of us in there but I am ready for cozy. 🙂

We will talk about transitions and pivots and starting over and pushing through, how success is repeatable and why you (as you are) are exactly what the world needs right now. There has never been a more urgent time to have the conversations we need to have about life, business, fear, generosity and opportunity.

We also plan to engage each and every one of you as much as possible and keep the chat line humming, and jam up the Q+A box because we are missing you so much!!! We want to know how you are, and what is happening with your business and how you are feeling.

This event has always been free and continues to be free and this time we can open our arms wide and invite everyone!! Which is so exciting. No matter what part of the world you live in – you can join us.

We are “in this together” and I am hoping next Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. CST or 7:00pm EST we will all be “at this” virtual event together.

Cuddle into the couch, put on your sweats or kick it up in your heels, order in local or grab some popcorn, or a bag of mini eggs or hmm put the mini eggs in the popcorn! Let’s make this fun.

It is time to breathe in the art of the possible.

Let us know in the comments if you can make it. I would be thrilled if you can. 🙂

Have any burning questions you want us to make sure we delve into? Add those to the comments too.

Grab a seat right here … right now because we can’t wait to see you.

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